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Italian Quinoa Salad

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Italian Quinoa Salad

This could also be called the cleaning-out-the-fridge salad.  That’s literally what I was doing (the first time I made it) so the measurements are very rough — to taste and according to how much we had.  But we knew it was a keeper when the next day we went to the store to buy the same ingredients that we were trying to get rid of, just to make the “leftovers” quinoa salad again.

Feta, Ham, Roasted Peppers & Artichoke HeartsTwo partial cans of tomato paste, chicken broth and basic Italian seasonings made a basic pizza-style sauce.  Some leftover ricotta cheese transformed it into a lasagne-esque sauce.  A batch of quinoa, a medley of roasted red, orange and yellow peppers*, chopped ham {Hormel’s Natural Choice, No Preservatives Smoked Deli Ham and Smoked Turkey Kielbasa}, chopped artichoke hearts and feta cheese rounded out this pasta-less salad.  I was eating it by the spoonful as a main course but it would make a hearty side dish or a yummy filling for stuffed chicken or pasta.  We are now on our third batch in three days.  It is so easy and makes a filling and nutritious snack, lunch and dinner.

Italian Quinoa Salad

*As for the roasted peppers, in the first batch I used ones that I had roasted several months ago and then frozen. Maybe one day I will can my own roasted peppers but until that day, I am excited to have found an easy way to preserve them!

Italian Quinoa Salad

Italian Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
This could also be called the cleaning-out-the-fridge salad because that's literally what I was doing the first time I made it. But we knew it was a keeper when we went to the store the next day to buy the same ingredients for another batch.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to instructions on package
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp crushed red peppers
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • Dash of sugar
  • ½ - 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Roasted red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • Ham slices or turkey kielbasa, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped artichoke hearts (seasoned or plain)
  • ¼ - ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. To roast the peppers, place them on a pan and broil them for 20 minutes, or until the skin is mostly charred, flipping them part way through to cook them evenly.
  2. Let them cool enough to be able to handle them and then remove the charred skin.
  3. Chop the flesh of the roasted peppers.
  4. Mix the tomato paste, chicken broth (to consistency) and Italian seasonings in a small saucepan.
  5. Let the pizza sauce simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Stir in the ricotta cheese to taste.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the cooked quinoa, tomato sauce (to taste), chopped ham/sausage, feta cheese, chopped peppers and chopped artichoke hearts.

 

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